Jetstar jumps on the iPad bandwagon

Xavier Verhoeven
1 June, 2010
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Jetstar is set to trial iPads onboard its flights for in-flight entertainment beginning later this month, according to a story in The Australian. The Qantas subsidiary will become one of the first airlines in the world to do so, having reportedly signed a deal with Apple to test the device.

The company is beginning with a two-week trial on domestic flights longer than an hour, where passengers can rent one of thirty iPads per test aircraft to watch movies, TV, read e-books, play games, or listen to music. If the trial is successful, the iPads may replace the existing bulky units that Jetstar uses – and every little bit of weight-saving helps in the aviation industry.

“If the trial works, we want to put them on every aircraft because they’re so much slimmer and lighter than our existing units,” said David May, Jetstar’s marketing general manager. “It means we’ll be able to get more on and it means more people will be able to have the entertainment service.”

Bruce Buchanan, CEO of Jetstar, is optimistic about the trial, following the iPad’s early success: “Given the demand for the iPad so far, I anticipate it will have strong appeal amongst our passengers.”

And depending on how the trial goes, iPads could be coming to all Jetstar flights in the not too distant future: “Based on demand for the iPads as part of the trial, we’ll be looking to roll out the devices across our entire domestic and international network later in the year,” said Buchanan.

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